USD music students earn top honors at state NATS competition

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Four University of South Dakota students received first place awards at the 2014 National Association of Teachers of Singing (South Dakota chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing) competition at USD on March 29.

Brody Krogman, of Sioux Falls, S.D., received first place in the Freshmen Men competition. Krogman is a student of Brandon Hendrickson, D.M.A., assistant professor of Voice/Opera at USD. Jordyn Bangasser of Sioux Falls placed first in Junior Women’s Classical and honorable mention in Women’s Musical Theatre. James Cooper of Lake Ozark, Mo. was the first place finisher in the Graduate Division and Laura Bertschinger of Creighton, Neb. was first in the Adult Division. All three are students of Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A., assistant professor of Voice/Opera.

In all, there were 136 student entries from USD, South Dakota State University, Northern State University, Black Hills State and Augustana College. Singers competed in classical and musical theatre divisions. Additional USD finalists at NATS included Hannah Lambertz of Yankton, S.D., second place, Musical Theatre Women; Mickey McGrann of Sioux Falls, second place, Freshmen Women; and Sarah Schmidt of Sioux Falls, honorable mention, Sophomore Women. All are students in Gesteland’s studio. From Hendrickson’s studio: Jared Mogen of Sioux Falls, second place, Senior Men; Seth Pierce of Sioux Falls, second place, Freshmen Men; and Brian Rasmussen of Sioux City, Iowa, honorable mention, Musical Theatre Men.  Kristian Asfeldt of Sioux Falls, second place, Musical Theatre Men; and Christa Gesicki of Denver, Colo., honorable mention, Musical Theatre Women, are students of Matthew Nesmith, M.F.A., assistant professor of Musical Theatre.

Pianists accompanying the USD singers at the competition were Rasmussen, Becca Lunstrum of Redfield, S.D.; Qiao-Zheng Goh of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Christopher Larson of Holstein, Iowa; Brynn Nelson of Albion, Neb.; Spencer Smith of Hermosa, S.D.; and Karl Graber of Vermillion.

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Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 206 undergraduate and 71 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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